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YouTube Gold: Eddie Sutton And Abe Lemons

What a glorious era it was when they both roamed the sidelines

Georgia Tech University vs Oklahoma State University, 1991 Preseason National Invitational TournamentTournament
College Basketball: Preseason NIT. Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton victorious holding trophy after winning game vs at Madison Sqaure Garden. New York, NY 
Set Number: X42183

This is an interesting video, a bit of a time capsule from when Eddie Sutton was at Arkansas and Abe Lemons was at Texas and both teams were still in the long defunct Southwestern Conference.

It’s not dated but Lemons was at Texas from 1976 to 1982 and Sutton was at Arkansas from 1974 to 1985 so you get an idea.

They were pretty divergent personalities. Sutton was the classically tightly wound coach out of the Iba school of disciplined, often boring basketball.

Lemons was more in the Al McGuire school of coaches but with a folksy Oklahoma twist and his teams played in what used to be called the Southwest style featuring high scores and lots of running. He was also one of the funnier coaches to come along.

You kind of get the idea that each guy was, on principle, offended by the other. In Sutton’s case, he probably saw Lemons as a flake and a loose cannon. And in Lemons’ case, he probably saw Sutton as an insufferable fancy pants who wouldn’t know a joke if it bit him in his rear end.

Actually, here is some audio of Lemons ranting about Sutton in very personal terms. It’s pretty funny, but you probably don’t want to play it at work or around small children.

Anyway, these guys came up in a very different era. Sutton went for the big time and flamed out at Kentucky in a scandal, while Lemons basically coached in Texas and Oklahoma, mostly at smaller schools. He was a competent coach but honestly was probably more famous for being funny than he was for his coaching. He was quite a character.